Take Apart This Earth
Rated T for the Pairing
Which is Max/Ari, or Mari as it's known
Set in an alternate universe in which the (sucky) end of MR3 does not exist.
I do not own Maximum Ride. I don't want to own MR anymore, either
A/N: Hey! I'm writing fic again! Mari fic! For all the Fax Squee fans who hate the pairing. The words ALTERNATE and UNIVERSE are highlighted up there for the idiot who left me a (anon) review saying that Max and Ari are siblings. Uh, not in this 'verse, sweets. That's cuz MR3 ending don't exist.
The poem in here, like the previous story, is taken from the student magazine Critic. It's called Storm Front, by Martin Roberts.
the night is creeping metal, twisted
fingers of rain
it will rip the tide apart
to forge cold
angels of earth
find her secret pain
You weren't good enough, Fang.
You couldn't stop this. Maybe you didn't try hard enough, maybe you just didn't have what it takes. It doesn't matter now.
There is no time left.
There is nothing left.
There is only my tiny oasis of peace.
An island of life in the seas of death.
Eventually, we will die. There is no time.
It will be five hundred years before our children's children's children could walk from this valley.
There will be no reason to.
(Because five hundred years from now there will be no one left. Disease will take them. Or inbreeding. Or starvation. The water could dry up. Maybe it will snow again, freezing the unwary.)
The Earth is dying, an old lady in her last days.
Her breaths are slow and laboured. We hear her heartbeat rumble under our feet now and then, irregular. Ari holds me tight until the shaking stops. We wonder, how close?
How near to us does she cough, her lava-blood spilling out onto the ash-ground?
How long before the silent gases roll into the Oasis and kill us all in our sleep?
I can only think of death.
It isn't something I long for anymore. I don't scream and rage against my continued existence. I am ...content.
You must change with them.
Be happy with the change.
And as the Earth falls apart, it's all I can do to love my husband, love my neighbours, and love the blood-red sunrises and sunsets. I cannot remember what blue sky looks like.
The sky darkens with ash, but I won't fall back into my own darkness. Not at the end of all things.
I kiss Ari, curl up beside him, and enjoy his warmth in the cold nights.
There is no record of what happened.
I confess, I don't know.
If Ari does, he does not tell me.
We don't write it down, we don't tell stories. We decided, those who live, to tell our children that this is the world that we were born into. There is no point in blame, or guilt.
So I don't bother to find out.
The last I knew, They were dead. The family of my childhood.
The family of my birth, likely too, turned to ash, or wasted away by sickness and starvation, skeletons on the burnt plains, in the crater-cities.
It is not an easy life.
People exist, and they die. They do not live.
I made a promise.
"Max. Will you live? For us?" She had said. The little Angel.
I had looked at her, in a moment of clarity between the screams and the silence and I had told her that I would.
Fang did not believe it. Nor the others, turning away from me in disbelief.
I would get better, I knew.
They didn't trust me to know myself.
They didn't know me.
He dragged me out of my darkness, into the Light before The Darkness.
Maybe I will live for a hundred years, I muse.
And then I fly.
The thirty feet before the waterfall's pool is over in a breath, but it is enough.
I surface, laughing in delight. I choke on water and laughter as Ari's splash catches me unawares.
Where I lead, he will follow. He promises, until the end of his days. Although that doesn't mean, he teases me sometimes, that he will follow obediently, like a puppy dog on a leash. No, my wolf-man is something untamed.
I will be glad to have him there to catch me if I stumble. To the end of my days.
We make love in the sweetgrass by the waterfall. I am too old to jump, but never too old for this.
There are birds here, birds for the first time in years. Ari smiles. And we lie entwined, listening to their song. I am happy. I have made my time something from nothing, carved out a life in fifty years on a dying world.
A world, that just maybe, maybe, will pull through.
There is hope for the children's children's children. Hope of a living earth, not one torn apart by man's stupidity.
I think, a thousand years from now, will they want to know? When they find the twisted ruins of what was, what will they think? Will we be hated as liars? Revered as survivors, as they discover the storm of war?
I speak aloud. Ari runs his roughened fingers through my graying hair and says that he will write our story so that they will know. That someone will know what happened, to stop it from happening again.
I tell him that I will help.
His eyes, they speak of his worry for me.
For the first time in decades, I feel guilt. All of the destruction. The loss.
Even in the darkness, the grandchildren of my neighbours scramble for power and prestige, and I wonder if is a fatal human flaw.
The Flock left me behind to save a world. The world I should have saved. They gave up their lives trying. Cold, dead angels, buried in the ash-covered earth. Ashes to ashes.
Fang wasn't good enough. Maybe he didn't have what it took to do it. To make those decisions. To risk everything. To face death and keep fighting.
Maybe he did, and just wasn't good enough.
But, in the end, neither was I.
I wasn't good enough for what others asked of me. I am only good enough for what I ask of myself. This experiment has not lived up to expectations.
That cavernous disparity has shaken apart the Earth.
I have lived my life putting it back together, putting myself back together, with Ari beside me.
But now, it is behind me. My life was lived, now it is over.
It is time to fly again.